The death of newspapers is not greatly exaggerated

It’s not just the large metro papers in the US that are drying up, watch the small local papers fall  even faster, because their advertising budget is often a tertiary add-on buy, and the first to  be cut by the Macy’s,  Home Depots and new home builders. And the papers large and small all over the world are entering the ICU stages of their long lives. Just this week (so far) The masthead of the Oakland Press is a little lighter following the summary dismissal of three top editors on Monday. Editor Neil Munro, Managing Editor Susan Belniak Hood and Dolly Moiseeff, assistant managing editor for features and entertainment, were told their jobs were being eliminated with no warning, according to two of those who were fired.“I was encouraged to leave the building right away,” said Munro, who was the paper’s main editorial writer. “Turn in my door card and leave the building.”The dismissals come only weeks after the paper’s owner, the Journal Register Co. of Yardley, Pa., announced that July ad sales for its 91
Michigan papers dropped more than 12 percent from the same time last year. Those losses severely lowered overall revenue for the company: Without the Michigan losses, the decline would have been only 2.2 percent, the company said.
On Monday, Journal Register announced plans to sell its cluster of five
New England daily papers and a group of weeklies.

London’s Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and Independent editor Simon Kelner were on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday morning responding to another of those “newspapers are dead” pieces — this time the cover of The Economist.
Rusbridger said that not all newspapers will survive; he listed the combined pressures of declining circulation and ad revenue – both of which are shifting to the Web; disaggregation of advertising from editorial; fragmentation of audiences; and competition from free sheets – all at a time when newspapers will have to invest large amounts of payroll and IT into the  online Web 2.0 world.

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One thought on “The death of newspapers is not greatly exaggerated

  1. A couple of those people at The Oakland Press were editors in name only. They did little to justify the positions they held, and they should have been cut years before by the previous ownership.

    Even with the cuts JRC has made, there are still people at that paper who need to be shown the door.

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